Going full circle

And so begins my new weekly posting schedule. As detailed in my last post, I won’t have much time for social media and photography going forward, so my new plan is to upload photos and blog on Saturdays, and post on Instagram and Twitter when I feel like it, rather than trying to stick to some kind of daily schedule.

One thing I didn’t mention in my last post is that I am barely shooting any film at the moment. Today, I briefly took my FM out for a spin, to make sure it got a little exercise – the worst thing you can do to a camera is to leave it on a shelf for months on end without using it – but that was the first time in probably a month.

Whilst I enjoyed using my FM again, I also missed being able to review the images, so I hadn’t shot the whole roll before I decided to put the FM away and started using my Pixel 2 instead. Honestly, this phone has the best smartphone camera I’ve ever used, and together with my Panasonic Lumix GX7, Olympus 15mm body cap lens, and Helios 58mm lens, I have the best photography arsenal EVER!

Here are my favourite Pixel 2 images from today:

Two Men On A Bench - Pixel 2

Cabot Square - Pixel 2

Cabot Square - Pixel 2

Canary Wharf - Pixel 2

Cabot Square - Pixel 2

Returning To Embrace - Pixel 2

They were all edited with VSCO. I used the C1 preset then made some adjustments to the white balance and applied a little sharpening. Very pleased with how they came out.

As some of you may know, I have been on a seemingly never-ending quest to simplify things in my photographic life – hence my infamous camera cull – and despite my recent obsession with film photography, I’ve come to realise that digital photography encapsulates the minimalistic workflow I’ve been eager for (duh!).

I don’t need to fuss around with different films to get the look I want, there’s no waiting around involved, there are no chemicals for me to properly store and measure, there’s no lab that might ruin my images. It’s just me, a digital sensor, a handful of lenses, and an app on my smartphone for the photo-editing. When shooting with my GX7, the workflow couldn’t be simpler; I just transfer the photos to my phone using the WiFi feature, and then edit away! And of course this makes it so much easier to share images too.

None of this is new to me nor to you, and I don’t know why I’ve suddenly come to this realisation; perhaps I can blame my recent sporadic use of social media? A haze has been lifted and I’m no longer being blinded by the constant parade of classic film cameras (so beautiful though!), and photos taken with different film stocks. I feel more focused.

Photography needs to be easy and stress-free for me at this time in my life. I want instant feedback and results. The digital medium fits these needs perfectly, but that’s not to say I am doing away completely with film. I’m still keeping my FM and 50mm f2 Nikkor-H lens and the bag of film in my fridge for those (perhaps increasingly rare?) times that I feel like going analogue. I still love Portra, Ektar, Superia, FP4, and Fomapan πŸ™‚

Yes this is a far cry from my film photography love affair…. I guess I’ve gone full circle!

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

My Zazzle store!
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Life Update

Lots of stuff has happened in the past month. As you may have noticed, I have not been on social media as much.

Our mum passed away on 19th September. I have not told a lot of people about this, but now feel I can open up a little. She had been unwell for a long time, and was slowly getting worse, so while it was not unexpected, everything happened really fast and was a bit of shock. Suddenly my mum was gone, and I would never again get the chance to say sorry for being such a shit daughter and not being able to take care of her properly. I am so thankful to my aunts who have done the bulk of the funeral arrangements and are helping to pay for it, because my sister and I just wouldn’t be able to do this without them.

Shortly before my mum’s death, I had decided to apply to do a degree in Mathematics and Statistics. Last year, I had started one in Environmental Science, but found I didn’t enjoy it, then got sick with flu and tonsillitis for 3 weeks, which meant I fell way behind. In the end, I couldn’t catch up and realised I didn’t really want to. I actually have a degree in Accounting already (graduated 2007), but I had not particularly enjoyed it (it put me off pursuing accountancy as a career!), and had spent half of it wishing I had done Maths instead (I have an A level in both). 11 years later, I was still regretting it, but fortunately the government have changed the rules surrounding eligibility of student loans for part-time students and those wanting to study again (in certain subjects), and I was able to go for it.

So, last week, I started my new degree, and I also returned to work full-time on 1st October, so I am pretty knackered but enjoying being productive and learning again, and it’s helping to take my mind off things.

Of course this means there’s been little time, motivation or energy for social media nor my favourite hobby, photography. My blog has been suffering the most from neglect, and I haven’t picked up a camera since 30 September! I am planning to take my FM out tomorrow to give it some exercise but I said the same thing last week, my plans keep changing!

The plan is to devote maybe an hour on Saturdays to blogging, and that’s it. The most I intend to post is one blog a week. I will probably stick to the same update cycle for Flickr, and Instagram I will just post to as and when I feel like it. The same with Twitter. At the moment, “when I feel like it” is really not that often. I opened a Zazzle store on a whim but can’t even be motivated to update it or promote it.

So, that’s what my life looks like right now.

I have opened a Zazzle store!

So last week I had a terrible experience with Google trying to get a custom Google Live case for my Pixel 2 phone; their automated system rejected my photo for copyright infringement! The cheek of it! Apparently it’s a common issue, so be warned! I ended up using Case Station instead, and got a higher quality case for two-thirds of the price, but I digress….

These aren't just roses... They're M&S roses - Google Pixel 2

Naturally, after my rejection by Google, I was super annoyed and went on a quest to find a different provider, but it also gave me an idea…. I had been thinking about selling prints of my work for a while, but then I thought how many people have art on their walls compared to the number of people who own phone cases?

Purple Roses πŸ’œ

I decided to investigate opening a store online to sell phone cases (and other items) featuring my images. I had a look at Cafepress, Redbubble and Zazzle, and I would have gone with Redbubble if it wasn’t for the problems I encountered when trying to upload my images; it kept timing out and giving me an error message. This put me off using them pretty fast.

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Anyway, long story short, I decided to use Zazzle, and here is my store! There are only a few phone cases on there at the moment, but I plan to add more over time, as well as other products like notecards, postcards, and of course, prints.

Peachy

If there is one of my images not on my Zazzle that you’d like to have as a phone case or something else entirely, please do let me know in the comments, or drop me an email at “mellonicoley @ me .com”, as I am happy to create something as and when requested πŸ™‚

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Will I make any money out of this? Probably not, but it’ll be nice knowing there are a few people out there walking around with one of my creations. So, buy my stuff! πŸ˜€

My Hometown

I’ve been walking in the same way as I did
Missing out the cracks in the pavement
And tutting my heel and strutting my feet
“Is there anything I can do for you dear? Is there anyone I could call?”
“No and thank you, please Madam. I ain’t lost, just wandering.”

Adele – “Hometown Glory”

We Love EU

shadow people

Villiers St - Panasonic Lumix GX7

Apple Store, Covent Garden

85660034

85660028

A View

nostalgia

We Love EU

Chinatown

Yesterday's Gone

It can do it all

Last weekend, I took my Panasonic Lumix GX7 out for the first time in ages, and was reminded what a pretty amazing camera it is. It can do it all.

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City Hall

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With either my 9mm or 15mm lens, it’s a great camera for my style of street photography; paired with the Helios it’sΒ more than adequate for capturing some beautiful flowers.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba'

National Theatre

Daffodils

Literally all I need for a good day of shooting is this little camera, and a couple of small lenses. The GX7 doesn’t quite have the character of my FM, but it more than makes up for it with its ease of use, compact form factor, focus peaking (surely the best feature ever to be invented by man),Β and the handy wifi feature that allows me to transfer images to my phone for editing and/or sharing easily and quickly.

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Have a little perspective

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Untitled

Yes, I know I said I was diving 100% into film photography, but I think I’ve changed my mind… at least for now. This camera is too good not to be used! It’s right up there with my FM as my top two favourite cameras that I have ever owned.

Here are a few more of my fave GX7 images:

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Untitled

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You can find more of my images taken with this versatile camera hereΒ πŸ™‚

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